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  • Girls Incorporated: "Women of Taste: A Collaboration Celebrating Quilt Artists and Chefs" (1999)





Olive Bread, Sliced
1998 / 58w x 59h
Materials and techniques: Cotton, linen, silk, wool, polyester fabrics, screen door netting. Hand painted and rubber stamped. Machine piecing, quilting, appliqué.
Overview photo of quilt; click for larger image (Warning: large file)

Ann's Comments: “One designated morning,
I meet Nancy at her restaurant. Over pastries and coffee, we speak more about quilts than food as I show her some of my previous work. We discuss how we’re not sure what collaboration means in this case – once I start working, will I be able to take advice or input? My thought all along was to use some of Nancy’s kitchen textiles, maybe old dish towels, and paint them.

So there we are, talking, and Nancy says (this is the part where I start to think I’m in some totally awesome dream), “There’s a fabric store across the street – want to go?” Can you imagine? Of all the quilter-chef scenarios, this has to be the best. Off we go to Diamond Foam and Fabric, not your typical chain store, two buildings more like warehouses, and almost all the fabric is on wholesale-type tubes. My idea of the collaboration now is to have Nancy pick out several fabrics she likes, and I’ll buy small pieces and use them in the quilt. I see that much of this stuff is imported and in the thirty-to-forty-dollars-per-yard range. Hmmm. Well, I figure if Nancy picks out three or four fabrics, I can spend that much.

We walk around, checking this beautiful stuff out, and here comes Jason, the owner. Nancy knows him well – it turns out they swap couche (cloth for proofing bread) for food. Jason says, “I’ll take the scissors and cut for you.” We’re off. “You like this fabric?” whack whack whack, a half a yard. This is great except the pieces are piling up and I seem to lack the control to say, “This is enough.” I’m getting a little worried here, so I pull Nancy aside and express concern about the cost. “Don’t worry,” she says. “He’ll give us a good discount.” We end up with nine or ten pieces, maybe three or four yards’ worth. We approach the register, and I await the damages. “It’s yours,” says Jason. “No charge. Don’t worry about it.” Wow. This sure is an amazing fabric store.It’s getting close to noon, and back across the street customers will start arriving soon, so it’s time to end our meeting. I mention that I want to buy a loaf of bread for the friends I’m staying with, so we go into the bakery, and Nancy starts filling a big shopping bag with different breads (“Veggie sandwiches? Here, use this”) and pastries. Once again, it’s all free! Wow. I pack up all the prizes and say goodbye.”

Additional comments: This work was for an invitational show that paired up female fabric artists with female chefs. In Ann’s case, she was paired up with Nancy Silverton, pastry chef, baker and co-owner of Campanile (a restaurant) and La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles.

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